Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton2EvertonEverton0

Southampton 2-0 Everton

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport
Everton's Antolin Alcaraz (lying down) gifts Southampton the lead at St Mary's with a first-minute own goal

Everton's hopes of securing Champions League football were dealt a huge blow as two first-half own goals gifted Southampton victory at St Mary's.

The Toffees, already a point adrift of Arsenal in the race for fourth place, were behind after 54 seconds when Antolin Alcaraz headed home Rickie Lambert's awkward left-wing cross.

And with Saints on top, Seamus Coleman headed another own goal to make it 2-0.

The visitors improved after half-time but could not find a breakthrough.

Romelu Lukaku wasted a good headed opportunity and the visitors had two decent shouts for a penalty turned down.

But the Merseyside club, who could be four points off the top four if Arsenal beat Newcastle on Monday, were a poor imitation of the side that so impressed in beating the Gunners and Manchester United in recent weeks.

They lacked their usual intensity and quality and looked vulnerable at the back throughout.

Only a win over a mid-table Saints team with little to play for seemed like keeping alive their Champions League hopes, but victory at St Mary's never seemed on the cards with a nervy defensive display that started badly and got worse.

Southampton 2-0 Everton: Mauricio Pochettino proud of 'superior' Saints

Alcaraz, who was deputising for the injured Sylvain Distin, was slightly unfortunate to gift the hosts the lead inside a minute as he tried to divert Lambert's cross around the post for a corner.

The visitors never recovered from that setback and struggled to get to grips with the movement and quality of England duo Lambert and Adam Lallana, as well as Sam Gallagher, who was making just his second Premier League start.

Steven Davis should have added a second but his well-struck first-time effort went narrowly wide after great work by Lambert.

Coleman did make it 2-0 when Nathaniel Clyne's right-wing cross went over both John Stones and Alcaraz and the full-back neatly cushioned a header down and into the bottom corner.

The Toffees' only noteworthy first-half chance saw Lukaku blaze a shot over but they posed more of a threat in the second half.

They felt aggrieved by a tight offside call on their brightest player Gerard Deulofeu and a caution for substitute Leon Osman for diving in the box when he appeared to have been clipped by Lovren.

Lukaku also headed straight at goalkeeper Artur Boruc from close range as the game opened up but Saints created the best chances in the last 15 minutes and Lambert almost wrapped up victory with a fine low free-kick that hit the outside of the post.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino

"There were many positives aspects from the win today. In the overall analysis, we just followed our style. We played in the way we know how to play and it worked for us to play a team that is fighting to get into the Champions League as well.

"I want to thank the players, the medical staff and overall the entire club because we matched our record in the history of the Premier League."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez

"It's very rare to see two own goals. To concede one so early affected us a little bit and we got a bit frustrated. We were not our normal selves.

Southampton 2-0 Everton: Own goal a massive blow - Roberto Martinez

"In a back five you need consistency and having changes we needed 20-25 minutes to get into a tempo and unfortunately we conceded two goals.

"We got stronger in the second half but we never had that confidence we normally have to get the goal to get back into the game.

"Everything that could have gone wrong defensively did. But eight wins out of 10 is a phenomenal return. You can't underestimate the run the team has been on.

"We always look at the biggest points tally we can get. Today is a setback but we will learn from it and we will be ready for next Saturday."

Line-ups

Southampton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Boruc
  • 2Clyne
  • 23Shaw
  • 12Wanyama
  • 6José Fonte
  • 5Lovren
  • 8DavisSubstituted forDo Pradoat 90'minutes
  • 18Cork
  • 40GallagherSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 76'minutes
  • 7Lambert
  • 20LallanaSubstituted forReedat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 21Do Prado
  • 22Chambers
  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 26Hooiveld
  • 33Targett
  • 38Reed

Everton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 24Howard
  • 23Coleman
  • 3BainesSubstituted forGarbuttat 90'minutes
  • 18BarryBooked at 45mins
  • 26Stones
  • 32Alcaraz
  • 14Naismith
  • 16McCarthy
  • 17Lukaku
  • 20BarkleySubstituted forOsmanat 45'minutesBooked at 62mins
  • 10DeulofeuSubstituted forMcGeadyat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Robles
  • 2Hibbert
  • 7McGeady
  • 21Osman
  • 29Garbutt
  • 36Browning
  • 46Ledson
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
31,313

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamEverton
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home14
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 2, Everton 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 2, Everton 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Everton. Luke Garbutt replaces Leighton Baines.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Guly replaces Steven Davis.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Everton. Antolin Alcaraz tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Harrison Reed replaces Adam Lallana.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Everton. Seamus Coleman tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jack Cork.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Southampton. Dejan Lovren tries a through ball, but Rickie Lambert is caught offside.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

  13. Post update

    Jack Cork (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse replaces Sam Gallagher.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Sam Gallagher (Southampton).

  16. Post update

    Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by John Stones.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Davis with a through ball.

  19. Post update

    Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool35255596445280
2Chelsea35236667264175
3Man City34235691355674
4Arsenal35217762412170
5Everton36209757362169
6Tottenham36206105249366
7Man Utd351861160402060
8Southampton361410125245752
9Newcastle35144173954-1546
10Stoke361111143950-1144
11Crystal Palace35134182841-1343
12Swansea36109175152-139
13Hull35107183645-937
14West Ham36107193849-1137
15West Brom35715134254-1236
16Aston Villa3598183653-1735
17Norwich3688202860-3232
18Fulham3694233779-4231
19Cardiff3579193165-3430
20Sunderland3478193357-2429
View full Premier League table

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